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Subject: Very Matter of Fact
This movie takes no right or left turns getting to the point. Wasted motion is lowered production - important in the days when the good ol USA couldn't produce goods fast enough and move ahead to achieve and maintain that everpresent positive balance of trade. Ya know, that concept that gave this place the highest standard of living in the world; a concept, by the way, completely foreign (whoops, no pun intended) today.
Dick should have had more time in the green room, though, to put that ratty toupee on better and smack it down with some Brylcream. In that side shot it looks like a birds nest on his head.
Not much drama but the setting is soooo perfectly retro - right down to that flouncy apron and perfectly accomodating wives.
Subject: Things aren't what they appear!
This is a GM film about motion studies of industrial activities and why they are important. Supposedly, they permit more production with less work and are a "win-win" for the companies and the workers. Oh, happy day!
The reality is different as I found out during a summer factory job I had. We were assembling lawn sprinkers and had a daily quota to meet. If we exceeded the quota, we got a bonus. One 8-hr. shift we assembled so many sprinkers we got paid for 11 hours. I was happy as a clam! But the other workers, the ones who would still be assembling sprinkers when I went back to college, were alarmed. They explained that the "time & motion" man would soon be around to
figure out why we were over-filling the quota.
If we kept over-filling the quota, they would raise the quota---bye bye bounses! The trick was to over-fill the quota some days, but not on others---and not by so much as to arouse the company's interest. That way, they could earn a little extra from time-to-time, but not have the quota adjusted so that they could never earn any bonus. My practical education in factory life!
The "time & motion" men were despised...seen as having one goal: to squeeze as much from the workers as possible at the lowest cost to the company. GM's little film doesn't mantion any of this, of course!
Subject: Anyone for Folger's Crystals???
Seems as if no one wants Marge's coffee... and Bob will soon be out of a job with his zany time studies nonsense as corporate executives figure out it's just makes much more sense to simply outsource manufacturing and production to China & India! Who cares about those crazy time studies anyway??!! Say so long to Bob... and the good ol' U. S. of A.!!!! Now that's PROGRESS!!! (ain't it ironic???)
Subject: Frederick Taylor would be proud
Bob, the protagonist of The Easier Way, explains how one can devise alternative methods of performing various repetitive tasks in order to minimize effort and completion time while maximizing productivity. As one would expect from the typical Handy Jam short, there is an effort made to use the subject matter as a vehicle for some fairly goofy humour, but the production doesn't stray from its didacticism. An excellent presentation of basic motion study theory in practice.
Christine Hennig -
Subject: Look, Ma! I Can Bore My Dinner Guests with Both Hands!
A guy whoÂs obsessed with time and motion study thoroughly ruins a dinner party by talking about nothing else and making the guests try out different ways of putting pegs into a pegboard. His wife gets even with him by assigning him to the kitchen to design a better way of doing dishes. This is a charmingly dorky film that actually makes its points pretty well, but in a silly way. Making it a highly entertaining piece of ephemera.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Steve Nordby -
Subject: Bob shows Dick he doesn't have to work so hard
A social situation is used to introduce an industrial topic. Bob's wife seems to put up with him quite well when he spills pegs over the table, but then the women are only concerned with women things like movies, making cofee, doing dishes, and watching their men get their efficiency up.
Subject: PREPOSTEROUSLY GREAT!
This is one lulu of a movie. Bob and Marge invite Dick and his wife for dinner. Bob just can't SHUT UP about motion study. Even his wife pleas with him before the couple gets there, "Oh, Bob, not now!". But soon after, Bob's got the peg board out showing how easy Motion Study is, and begs Dick to try putting pegs into a board. After several fumbling tries, Bob persuades him to do it another way, and he soon has a quicker way of putting the pegs into the board. Soon, the wives are squeeling, "That looks like fun" (It DOES?) The whole thing is of course, tied into better production of automobiles (or at least, putting washers on screws) and everyone just has a jolly time speaking about this banal topic. A real corker of a movie, this one is a MUST SEE on this site!!